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'I always believed in Alonso'

2005-06-07 12:10

The Italian and team principal, addressing the media at a news conference in Madrid (Spain) prior to leaving for Canada, said the important thing is to be competitive.

"We've won five out of the seven races this season," 55-year-old Briatore remarked, "but you can't win every time.

"If we did, we'd be as unpopular as Ferrari (were last season) and we enjoy being a team that everyone likes."

Briatore put Ferrari's 2005 troubles down to modern Formula One and its status as more of a 'tyre' championship.

"It would make more sense to just have one tyre manufacturer," 'Flav' continued.

He also ranked Renault's budget as only the 'fifth or sixth largest' on the F1 grid, with Toyota the richest team, and credited Fernando Alonso with boosting the sport's new popularity in Spain.

"I always believed in him," said Briatore, "since I discovered him five years ago. Two years ago Spain hardly noticed F1, but now we have 48 per cent market share."

- GMM

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